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Stanford’s Tyler Gaffney continues the Tradition of Two Sport Athletes

Two sports athletes are becoming rarer every season but Stanford hasn’t stopped churning them out. Current Minnesota Viking’s running back Toby Gerhart played baseball and football during his first couple of seasons at Stanford before deciding to focus on his football. Current Stanford RB Tyler Gaffney is following in his footsteps. 

Gaffney appeared on the diamond in 54 games (53 starts) while hitting .327 with three homers and driving in 35 runs. He has continued to play football playing in all three games as the Cardinal are 3-0.

Gaffney reports to David Shaw (Stanford football coach)  and to the longtime Cardinal baseball coach, Mark Marquess. Both are flexible with schedules and understand there are times when the best thing for Gaffney is to get off his feet. They have to keep a careful tally to make sure he stays within the N.C.A.A. 20-hour weekly limit on team activities.

It was not hard to get Shaw on board. He was Gaffney’s position coach before being promoted when Jim Harbaugh left to coach the San Francisco 49ers. A former wide receiver for the Cardinal, Shaw also appeared in a varsity basketball game and a track meet during his college career.

Marquess played first base and football for Stanford and is among a small group to have reached the College World Series as a player and as a coach.

Shaw’s one mandate for Gaffney is that he maintains his football weight-lifting regimen.

Shaw said the only thing he did differently this year was to make Gaffney take a break after the baseball season.

“We kind of gave him a chance to get his body back,” Shaw said. “This is the first training camp that he’s been healthy and fresh. And I think it has shown in the way he has run the ball and in pass protection.”

You can check out a full article on Tyler in the New York Times by clicking here.

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